Maison Kayser NYC: Eric Kayser’s Bakery on the Upper East Side
Maison Kayser NYC, the first American outpost of Parisian master baker Eric Kayser's international empire of fanatically-adored boulangeries/patisseries/cafes (there are more than 80 all told, mostly in Paris, but also Tokyo, Moscow, Beruit, Athens, etc.), opened about a week ago on the Upper East Side, blocks away from a number of Glenwood's Manhattan Upper East Side apartment rentals, including The Fairmont, The Marlowe, The Somerset, The Caldwell, and The Lucerne. But even if you don't live right near Maison Kayser NYC, and so can't easily pick up a loaf of his uniquely spectacular bread on your way home in the evening, or a box of his fantastique financiers for a special-treat dessert, or a croissant in the morning, or pop into the comfy cafe for a Croque Monsieur, you should get on a subway and come check it out. And soon. Maison Kayser NYC is a destination bakery if ever there was one.
On the Upper East Side: Eric Kayser Bakery Maison Kayser
We went to Maison Kayser NYC the other evening, within a few days of its grand opening, and were blown away by how good these baked goods are. Really, if anything, Maison Kayser NYC exceeds the hype. The large storefront on Third Avenue is split into two parts. On your left is the boulangerie and patisserie, with a huge array of tempting loaves of bread–all made with Eric Kayser's secret ingredient, liquid sourdough leavening, or levain, and his signature "slow rising" baking method–as well as cookies, pastries, croissants, mini-cakes, on and on, available to-go. Upper East Side residents on a low-carb/no-carb diet: your regimen is in trouble.
Eric Kayser Bread Feast at Maison Kayser NYC
The right side of Maison Kayser NYC is given over to a pleasant, 100-seat cafe, which is where we sat for our own personal bread feast. The Maison Kayser NYC menu has plenty of bread-centric items, including a full array of sandwiches and such, but because we knew there was a bread basket coming, we opted for dishes that would complement our doughy delights. And doughy delights they were! Maybe it was because we emphasized to our affable server that we wished to sample several different kinds of breads, or maybe they're trying to get you hooked on the stuff by giving it away for free, or maybe they're just really, really generous, but our bread "basket" (really more of a bag) featured almost an entire loaf's-worth of slices, in five different varieties, all of which were superb: the cheese bread, the olive bread, the seed bread, the walnut bread, the straight-up sourdough, all of it, excellent. Maison Kayser is the first restaurant we would ever recommended–and heartily–based solely on the bread basket.
Our two savory dishes at Maison Kayser NYC were fine. The Frisee aux Lardons salad (our go-to at such places because: lardons) was balanced and satisfying, the added touch of Roquefort handled with a light hand. And our Figs and Jambon de Bayonne platter, complete with melted Bucheron, also went well, obviously, with all of our bread. For dessert we tried the Dark Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie, which was, in a word, awesome, and the Pistachio Financier, which was huge, muffin-shaped, and pure dense-chewy-sweet heaven. There are at least three other flavors of these financiers, all of which we'll be eating soon, and so much more. Thanks Maison Kayser NYC.
Maison Kayser NYC Details
Maison Kayser Bakery and Cafe is located on Third Avenue just north of 74th Street, and is open on Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday it opens at 8:00 a.m. The website's not up yet, but Diner's Journal has reprinted the complete Maison Kayser NYC Cafe menu. The boulangerie and patisserie offering change daily, but there's no way you won't find plenty to like.